Fire Sprinklers


  •   History of Fire Sprinklers
  •   Types of Sprinkler Systems
  •   Types of Sprinkler Heads 
  •   Future of Fire Sprinklers 
  •   Facts about Sprinkler Systems

History of Fire Sprinklers:

History of Fire Sprinklers „ Officially developed and used by Henry Parmalee in 1874 to protect his piano factory „ Used clay and wood pipes with holes drilled into them „ A tank on the roof of the structure was drained during a fire and released the water into the pipes „ Winter was a problem, and making sure someone was watching at all times


Fire Sprinkler System Time Line: 1806 – John Carey designs a system of perforated pipes, plungers, and burning strings. 1812 – Colonel William Congreve designs perforated pipes with valves. 1875 – Parmelee invents the first modern sprinkler. It consists of shell and soldered brass cap. 1882 – Grinnell invents an improved sprinkler that can withstand higher pressures and distributes water more evenly. 1896 – N.F.P.A. is officially formed and publishes codes for automatic sprinkler installation.

Types of Sprinkler Systems:

  • „ Wet Sprinkler System
  • „ Dry Sprinkler System „
  • Deluge Sprinkler System „
  • Pre-Action Sprinkler System

Parts of a Sprinkler System:

  • OS&Y- Outside Stem and Yoke „
  • PIV- Post Indicator Valve
  • Main Control Valve- Controls water for whole system
  • Main Drain- Drains System „
  • Inspector Test- Tests system „
  • Alarms- Water flow or Air Alarms


Components of a Sprinkler System:

  • Underground brings water from the City Mains to your building
  • Water is then sent through a backflow
  • All Systems usually require an FDC or Fire Department Connection to increase the water pressure during a fire
  • Enters either the fire pump where it is pumped to a certain pressure, or is released into the Riser
  • Risers “rise” vertically through the floors to feed the Branch Lines
  • Branch Lines then extend off the Risers and Mains horizontally to bring water to all the sprinkler heads


Wet Systems:

  • Water is in branch lines and at the sprinkler heads at all times „
  • Wet Systems cannot be in areas that may freeze „
  • Water pressure must be maintained at all times „
  • Water Pumps are put in place to keep water pressure at a certain PSI „
  • There is no delay in time that water is put on the fire „
  • Require the least amount of maintenance


Dry Sprinkler System:

  • Require Air Pressure instead of water in the Branch Lines
  • The Air Pressure holds down a Clapper Valve, so that water cannot be introduced into the system, unless the air pressure is lost
  • Used in areas that may freeze
  • An air compressor keeps a constant pressure in the system
  • When a Fire releases a sprinkler head, the air is released from the piping, and stops holding down the valve that was holding the water back, and water is released
  • Standpipes are used in stairwells to have a water way established for hand lines
  • These systems have a high maintenance cost, due to corrosion in the pipe with only air, and a little bit of water
  • Might take up to 60 seconds to get water on the fire, depending on how big the system is



  • Deluge Valves are used in special areas
  • Sprinkler heads are open at all times
  • Used in High Hazard areas
  • Deluge Valve opens during a smoke or heat detection
  •  Deluge systems are needed where high velocity suppression is necessary to prevent fire spread


Pre-Action Systems:

  • Same as a Dry System
  • Water is held back by an electronically operated valve
  • Two things need to happen before water is released
  • The detection system must identify that there is a problem with smoke or flame
  • Water is then released into the piping
  • Secondly the sprinkler heads must be activated and released to put water on the fire.

Types of Sprinkler Heads

  •  Pendants
  • Uprights
  • Sidewalls
  • Special Coverage


Fire Sprinkler Colours

  •  135-170 degrees = Red
  •  175-225 degrees = Green
  •  250-300 degrees = Blue
  • 325-375 degrees = Purple
  • 400-650 degrees = BLACK

Upright Head:

  • Sits on top of the piping
  • Sprays water up towards the deflector
  • Cannot be used as a pendant


Sidewall Head:

  • Comes out of a wall to protect hallways or small rooms
  • Has a fan shaped deflector
  • Used in Hallways or special areas that are not big enough for regular heads

Types of Sprinkler Systems: 

  • Residential- Just beginning to become popular
  • Piping is made of a special CPVC plastic
  • Industrial- Heavy amounts of fire load require many heads. ‹
  • Piping is usually made of metal

Future of Fire Sprinklers:

  • Home fire sprinklers are just beginning to be made more accessible
  • Insurance rate cuts
  • Better protection
  • Aqua-Flex Heads are easier to install, and cuts back on labor costs More special area heads are being created and tested

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123 Main Street
New York, NY 10001

Monday—Friday: 9:00AM–5:00PM
Saturday & Sunday: 11:00AM–3:00PM

About This Site

This may be a good place to introduce yourself and your site or include some credits.